For people living on the east coast, this winter has been one of the worst. Now that everything is finally getting back to normal after the blackouts, gas station lines, and devastating losses of Sandy; we were now hit with the storm Nemo. While I think this is my favorite name for any hurricane, I was anticipating the worst after being without heat and power for almost two weeks from Sandy. Fortunately, Nemo wasn’t as harmful as most people thought. There weren’t any power lines coming down or trees collapsing in the middle of the road. However, the storm did bring the most snow I have seen in a couple of years. It was so heavy that I had to shovel my driveway once at night and again in the morning. When I was done, I showered up and laid back for a a little. I felt awesome with that feeling you get after you had a good workout at the gym. My muscles were relaxed and my whole body was filled with energy. I never realized that shoveling could be this great of a workout.
While it doesn’t snow everyday, I feel like shoveling the driveway is one of the best cardio exercises I have done in a while. Unlike just running on a treadmill, you are putting emphasis one very muscle in your body. You use your arms and chest to push the shovel deep into the snow, and then use your back and legs to lift the snow up and throw it to the side. You repeat this over and over again as you pump up those muscles carrying a good amount of weight up and down the driveway. Even though this is a simple task that most people do, it makes me proud that I accomplished it. I almost feel like one of the weightlifters in the World’s Strongest Man Competition carrying those 200 pound balls of cement, even though the snow is probably only twenty pounds every shovel.
Another great thing about this task is you can’t focus on time and can only put your attention on what you are doing. One of the worst parts about being on a treadmill is the timer flashing in big lights. You try to ignore it, but it draws your attention like a fly to a light. Not only is it distracting, but each time you count the seconds it makes you feel like you are so far away from how long you want to run. With shoveling, there is no timer or watch. You just keep plowing the snow until you are finished. When you are then, you just realized you finished an hour cardio workout.
I really was dreading the potential of hurricane Nemo. Fortunately, it wasn’t too bad and actually enjoyed my time being snowed in. While I’m not a big fan of the snow, I have to say it did look really pretty outside at night with all the street lights bouncing off it. As I was shoveling, I couldn’t help but to get upset. My neighbors were all easily clearing their driveways with snow blowers. I definitely wouldn’t mind having one of these to get the job done, but the part that really ticked me off is that they offered the machine to everyone except me. As I was grabbing on to the shovel to catch my breath, they were all chatting it up as it only took them ten minutes to get rid of the snow. After I was done, I was actually happy they didn’t come to help me. I felt a sense of pride that I could do something like shovel my driveway without anyone’s help. The best part about it is that I was so bundled up in clothes, I probably burnt off more weight doing that than actually running or lifting. So if you ever want a really great workout, pick up shovel the next time it snows. I guarantee it’ll be some of the best cardio you have done.
Since I started working out again, I have placed myself on a strict diet. It is one thing to push yourself at the gym, but your body needs the proper nutrition and foods to replenish and stay healthy. I know I am not going to drop any pounds if I stuff fast food in my mouth after the gym. That defeats the whole purpose of even trying to get back into shape. I haven’t dieted since my senior year in wrestling, where I cut close to thirty pounds. It is hard to stay motivated and always remind yourself that the sacrifices you are making are worth it. Temptations are creeping around every corner. Just driving down the road I see all the bright lights of Burger King, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s. I see people enjoying themselves with mouthwatering burgers topped with sizzling bacon. I try to keep my eyes strictly on the road and tune it out with the radio, but then I hear three food advertisements that make me want to dive into a milkshake as I shove french fries down my throat. While these are very enticing, I feel that one place is the worst to go when dieting. It is more seducing than an all you can eat buffet or free burrito day at Chipotle. It is the movie theatre.
How can the movies be more tempting than actually going to a restaurant. I have seen people just order water at a diner or even a small salad, but I have never seen anyone not get something to eat at the snack bar. Growing up, we all have fond memories of our parents bringing us to the theatre. I remember ordering the huge bucket of popcorn drizzled in butter and coated in salt. The thing was bigger than my head. And of course, you can’t fully enjoy a show without a nice soda to wash everything down. I usually turned down the caffeinated beverage because I only wanted the large cherry slushy. And if your parents were really in a good mood, they’d let you pick a candy from the theater’s stand that almost rivaled Willy Wonka’s factory. I am pretty sure I have seen every type of candy in a cineplex from Snow Caps to Sour Patch Kids. After all of these decisions, you are ready to enjoy the actual movie. Wait, that seemingly endless tub of popcorn is now finished before the previews are even done. You flash that innocent smile to your parents, and you get another bag. Nothing makes a movie more complete than the full experience.
Even though I am grown up, I love going to the movies and enjoying the snack stand. Somedays, I just crave theatre popcorn and will see a random show to fill my need. It’s bad enough the prices are jacked up, but not even that will stop most people from buying a large in everything. Since my days as a kid, the snack stand has really revolutionized. It is more than just popcorn and candy, it is a full on food cart. It has hotdogs, pretzels, and even funnel cakes. Some movies even have a dining theatre where you can eat and have a waitress serve you food. If I was a kid now, I wouldn’t be able to make up my mind with all these options.
Going to the movies is one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy nothing more than to get lost in a good movie and find myself wishing it never ended. I’ll admit, I am definitely a long time patron of the snack stand. But I don’t know if I could handle that much temptation. It all looks so tantalizing that my tastebuds are almost dragging me to that jumbo bag of popcorn. And I have been so accustomed to this eating routine when seeing a movie that I don’t think I could sit two hours and just focus on the screen. As a kid, I always felt bad for the people who brought their own snacks into the movies, especially the kids whose parents made them eat fruits and vegetables. I guess some kid will be saying that about me as I dig into some carrots for the next big show.